Life Is Not Fair, But People Can Be
This chapter is about justice. We Americans certainly believe in justice. We grow up reciting:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
As youngsters, we did not give a lot of thought to what we meant when we said "and justice for all." As adults, we may have some vague notion. It's time to get at the essence of that notion. The primary issue in this chapter will be whether we wish to include economic issues in our concept of justice.
When we say "and justice for all" in our Pledge of Allegiance, we do not necessarily include any notions of income or wealth. Should they be included? For guidance we might look to our other important documents. We find in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America:
We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare. . . .
Here justice and the "general welfare" appear to be two different issues. Even in the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to our Constitution), there is no specific mention of economic rights. 1
According to the Declaration of Independence: